Monday, March 29, 2010

All Children are Angels

Thursday, March 25th, 2010 ·
Over the years there have been many studies on the importance of reading to children. The results being there are many benefits to children, families,...
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Quote - St. John Chrysostom

"This is the highest point of philosophy, to be simple and wise; this is the angelic life."
St. John Chrysostom

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Matthew 24:1-35 - Signs of the End of the Age

 1 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 "Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."

 3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"

 4 Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

 9 "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

 15 "So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

 26 "So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

 29 "Immediately after the distress of those days
   " 'the sun will be darkened,
      and the moon will not give its light;
   the stars will fall from the sky,
      and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'
 30 "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

 32 "Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that itis near, right at the door. 34 I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Words by: George P. Grantham,

Angel hosts in bright array—
Stars their night-watch keeping—
Earthward wend their silent way,
While the world lies sleeping.
Through the wintry clouds they glide,
On through portal hoary,
Where, the ox and ass beside,
Lies the Babe of Glory.

Ring the bells, and sound the horn!
Shout with exultation!
Christ the Lord today is born
For the world’s salvation!

All unseen by mortal eye,
Reverent and lowly;
Prostrate there, they laud on high
Him, the Infant holy.
From their lips celestial rise
Sounds, with joy o’erflowing,
Strains upborne beyond the skies,
Hymns with rapture glowing.

Raphäel, archangel bright!
On thine errand wending,
Forth again into the night
Mount, the clouds ascending!
Take of that, thy glittering train,
Hosts of light, dear angel!
Then descend where Bethlehem’s plain
Waits thy longed evangel!

Hark the news the angel tells:
“Lo! An infant Stranger,
God’s dear Son among you dwells,
Born in Bethlehem’s manger!”
Bursts a chorus from the sky,
Loud from Heaven’s portal:
“Glory be to God on high,
Peace, goodwill to mortal!”

Angel spirits earthward led,
With a hope endearing,
First to worship, first to spread
News of Christ’s appearing!
Trace we out your footfalls light,
Praise we Christ in glory,
Then waft on the tidings bright
Of the Gospel’s story!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Quote - Andrew Greeley

"Angels represent God's personal care for each one of us."
Andrew Greeley

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Angels in Irish Blessings

Irish blessing:
May you have:
A world of wishes at your command.
God and his angels close to hand.
Friends and family their love impart,
and Irish blessings in your heart!

Irish blessing:
May you always walk in sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door.

Irish blessing:
May God grant you many years to live,
For sure he must be knowing.
The earth has angels all too few.
And heaven is overflowing.

Irish blessing:
May God grant you always...
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.

Irish blessing:
These things, I warmly wish for you-
Someone to love, some work to do,
A bit of o' sun, a bit o' cheer.
And a guardian angel always near.

Irish blessing:
May your neighbors respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And heaven accept you.

Irish blessing:
May God grant you many years to live,
For sure He must be knowing
The earth has angels all too few
And heaven is overflowing.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Ugly Side of Life

One of my favorite Christian authors is Frank Peretti. In two of his novels “This Present Darkness” and “Piercing the Darkness”. Peretti portrays battles between good and evil – angels are not the white feathery characters often pictured but rather fierce warriors going to battle.

I can not tell you how many times in my life I could have used some powerful warrior angels on my side. Maybe they were there and I didn’t know it but during long periods of my life I find it difficult to believe they were there. Or maybe the bad guys just made their presence more known.

There certainly did not seem to be any muscular angels around when a small frill child was not being feed properly, or taken to the dentist, or even owning a tooth brush. Those angels in Peretti’s books weren’t there fighting the child’s mother or guiding her in getting help to raise children properly.

Eventually those horrid things were taken care of, the mother was left to care for younger siblings but she escaped to find a whole new world of food she had never heard of, visit after visit to the dentist, and eventually growing into a physically healthy child: at least for a time.

Those early ‘demons’ were replaced by new ones. The alcoholic father who was mentally and physically abusive replaced the neglectful mother. Beatings with the belt that left welts so bad the child could not set on the toilet for weeks, living in constant fear that he was going to turn on her at any second.

She ate well, had nice cloths, vacations, and other material things. What she did not have was the love of a father. A man she could go to for protection. There did not seem to be any angels in armor going to battle for her during those years.

Escape finally came without the help of dynamic angels. The night of high school graduation the now young woman left the home and family she had known two-thirds of her life and went back to the mother who had neglected her as a young child. That lasted only a few months.

The years that followed brought more demons including marriages to two abusive husbands. A third husband in between those two was the nicest man in the world but she had no idea how to handle ‘nice’. After all, that small frill child grew up with abuse and neglect from the two people in the world who should have ‘loved her most’.

If you have not figured it out, yes, that was my life in fewer than 500 words. I’ve been through a lot:
Neglect (physical & emotional)
Child Abuse (several kinds)
Domestic Violence (witnessed & endured)
Three Divorces
Three attempted Suicides

I may not have had Peretti’s fierce warrior angels there with me or at least did not see them but I survived. I am alive and feel for those experiences am a stronger person.

To view more storm cloud photographs such as the one above:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Matthew 22:23-33 - Marriage at the Resurrection

 23 That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 24 "Teacher," they said, "Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?"

 29 Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead but of the living."

 33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.

Friday, March 12, 2010


by Oliver W. Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894)

Peace, by Ludwig Knaus (1829-1910)
 Angel of peace, thou hast wandered too long;
Spread thy white wings to the sunshine of love!
Come while our voices are blended in song,
Fly to our ark like the storm-beaten dove—
Fly to our ark on the wings of the dove;
Speed o’er the far-sounding billows of song,
Crowned with the olive leaf garland of love;
Angel of peace, thou hast waited too long!

Brothers we meet on this altar of thine,
Mingling the gifts we have gathered for thee;
Sweet with the odors of myrtle and pine,
Breeze of the prairie and breath of the sea—
Meadow and mountain and forest and sea;
Sweet is the fragrance of myrtle and pine,
Sweeter the incense we offer to thee,
Brothers once more round this altar of thine!

Angels of Bethlehem, answer the strain!
Hark! a new birth-song is filling the sky!
Loud as the storm wind that tumbles the main,
Bid the full breath of the organ reply—
Loud let the tempest of voices reply;
Roll its long surge like the earth-shaking main!
Swell the vast song till it mounts to the sky!
Angels of Bethlehem, echo the strain!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Quote - Gilbert K. Chesterton

"Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly."
Gilbert K. Chesterton

Monday, March 8, 2010

Angels in the Outfield

There are many movies about angels or involving angels in some way but one of my all time favorites is Angels in the Outfield (1994). How could you not love angels playing baseball? There are plenty of laughs in this Disney comedy but the underlying message is one to remember also.

The movie starts with two foster boys, Roger (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his friend J.P. (Milton Davis, Jr.), who’s favorite pastime is sneaking into the stadium to watch the California Angels play ball – even though the Angels are not doing well at all.

During a visit with his father Roger asks when they will be a family again and his father responds, "I'd say when the Angels win the pennant." This prompts Roger to turn to God and in prayer asks God to help the Angels win.

Roger’s prayers are answered and the next time the boys sneak into a game Roger sees a group of angels on the field. The twist in the movie is the young boy is the only one who can see the angels.

Angels in the Outfield has a great cast of characters including Danny Glover as George Knox the Angels Manager, Tony Danza as Mel Clark the down on his luck Angels Pitcher, and Christopher Lloyd as Al "The Boss" Angel.

While rated PG my experience has been even as young as 3-4 year olds enjoy the movie and looking for the angels to appear. Great family entertainment!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Matthew 16:21-28 - Jesus Predicts His Death

 21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!"
 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
25 For whoever wants to save his life[h] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.
28 I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

Friday, March 5, 2010


by Isaac H. Meredith (1872-1962)

O’er the hills in far Judea,
Rang the first glad Christmas song;
’Twas a grand angelic chorus,
Shepherds saw the shining throng.
Glory streamed across the heavens,
Music echoed thro’ the air;
Christ the Morning Star hath risen!
Tell the tidings everywhere.

Angels adore Him,
Hark! We seem to hear
Echoes from Heaven,
Angel echoes clear.
Jesus the mighty
Came to earth to bring
Priceless redemption
Christ our Prophet, Priest and King!

Tell again the sweet old story,
Of the shepherds on the hill,
When the angels from the glory
Sang while all the world was still.
Tell again the story wondrous,
Of the Infant in the stall,
Of the guiding star above Him,
Shining o’er the Lord of all.

Angels wondered at His coming,
To this scene of earthly night,
From the fadeless day in glory,
From His home so wondrous bright;
Angels looked in deep amazement,
At the manger of His birth,
Understanding not His purpose,
To redeem this sinful earth.